The late Bill Clements, Jr. ‘39. Photo courtesy of the Clements Foundation

The late Bill Clements, Jr. ‘39. Photo courtesy of the Clements Foundation

When friends and supporters of SMU-in-Taos gathered at the New Mexico campus July 17 to celebrate the opening of the Carolyn and David Miller Campus Center, the event also underscored more than four decades of visionary support from the late Bill Clements, Jr. ’39 and the Clements Foundation.

Clements and his wife, Rita, contributed more than $7.5 million toward the development of facilities and programs for the Taos campus before his death in 2011. Now, a $1 million gift from the Clements Foundation will support the position of the William P. Clements, Jr. Endowed Executive Director of SMU-in-Taos, currently held by Mike Adler, associate professor of anthropology.

“Stand anywhere on our beautiful New Mexico campus, and you will be touched by Gov. Clements’ passion for both the University he loved and the breathtaking beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Serving as both U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and twice as governor of Texas was not insignificant, but I think he’d agree with me in saying that SMU-in-Taos is among his enduring legacies.”

Guided by a master plan adopted in 2008, SMU-in-Taos continues to expand its programmatic offerings, add and enhance educational and residential facilities and continue stewardship of the land and natural resources. The recent period of unprecedented growth has occurred under the leadership of Mike Adler.

“It is our great pleasure to endow the position currently held by Mike Adler,” said Pauline Neuhoff, Clements Foundation president and Gov. Clements’ granddaughter. “I think my grandfather would be pleased that the stewardship of this unique resource, so important to both SMU and the surrounding New Mexico community, will be guaranteed in perpetuity.”